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Mamma 'Me' time

Shabia Ravi Walia

Updated: January 24, 2012, 12:52 PM IST
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My yoga teacher said to me the other day that mothers were weird. They don't like their kids' school vacations and can't wait for their children's schools to re-open. I smiled as I knew the feeling. I have often struggled to finish my work on weekends when my daughter is at home while on weekdays, I manage pretty well with the four hours she is at school.

Toddlers are pretty high maintenance. When they are at home, they want to be played with, fed, bathed and put to sleep, all by their mothers. Then there are the stories to be read, dancing sessions to be fulfilled and mall visits too. Probably that's their way of making up for the time when they are at school away from their mothers.

I cherish the four hours Sia is in school. It not only helps me work on my projects uninterrupted but also gives me that much needed 'me' time we mothers are always compromising upon. It's easier for men to leave for office, go to the gym, to have a coffee session with friends all without feeling the guilt of being away from their kids. But mothers are always exchanging their own time to spend some time with their babies. I have been postponing a much-needed haircut, two dinner dates with friends and a solo shopping spree for an upcoming wedding, all under the guilt of leaving my baby at home.

I guess fathers are wired differently than mothers. I read a newspaper report of how men are wired to sleep through their baby's cries while women wake up at the slightest stir of their baby. I think the ones who make such reports must be surely men and must be trying to reduce their guilt by arriving at such conclusions.

My days when Sia goes to school are planned to the T. I drop her to school, come back, have breakfast, have a writing session with my co-writer, finish off odd jobs, meet a friend for coffee or make time for a haircut or beauty treatment until its time for her to return. After that, it's feeding her, putting her for a nap and then resuming work. Lucky are the days when I get to snooze along with her in the afternoons. Evenings are meant for her playtime or a visit to the garden.

On weekends and vacations, the schedule goes off gear. We get up late and everything moves at its own pace. And you count your days when Monday returns or the school starts again. Just so that you get your half an hour in the day to recharge your batteries, to be yourself again, to just think about your needs without worrying about what your child or family wants.

This 'me' time is so important to be connected with yourself, keep your identity, prevent yourself from going into depression and most importantly help you be happy so that you carry and extend that happiness to your family. A happy woman is a happy mother. Don't ever feel guilty of being selfish about your own needs even if you address them for half an hour every day. Ask your husband to fill in for you. Do whatever it takes but be possessive about your 'me' time. It will prevent you from falling prey to self pity and keep you in love with yourself.

There is no other mantra to be a happy person.

Love yourself first to love your family better!!

Till my next post! You can write to me at
First Published: January 24, 2012, 12:52 PM IST

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